I went through somewhat of a traumatic experience this week during my driving lesson. Don't worry too much though. Nobody died. Least of all me. Which is why I'm able to write this post, of course.
Things started out easy enough. I took Martin - my instructor - to a local road that I was confused by. Given that I would be driving on this road a lot, it made sense to get answers while I was still having lessons. If anything, it's a bit weird that I left it this long. The road went well and I came out of it understanding what I needed to do when travelling there by myself.
Then the mistakes started.
I ended up in the wrong lane of a dual carriageway at one point. I wasn't driving into traffic, but I was going the wrong way. We lost about five minutes of the lesson as I worked to correct myself. In the end though, it was no biggie. I messed up but I fixed it. That's something Martin always preaches to me, especially in manouvers; accuracy is the least important thing compared to control and safety. If you end up in the wrong place, then you can just fix it.
Unfortunately, something that couldn't be fixed almost happened.
We were practicing a reverse left. Given that my test is the end of next week, we're essentially just practicing things I'm weak at. I asked him if we could run through each manouver one last time. Things were actually going great. I was making smooth progress and responding well to what was happening around me. I was displaying pretty good safety, accuracy, and control.
Then some kid scooted behind the car. I didn't see her but thankfully Martin did. He was able to stop the car and let her go on her merry way unscathed.
Even though it fucked me up for a while, it was a good lesson to learn. It was better to have something like this happen while I was still learning and while someone could stop the car for me. If that happened during my test I'd have failed, and if it happened while I was on my own, then it would have been even worse.
I still have confidence in my ability to drive after getting over it. I still want to go into my test and I still believe I can pass it. So I guess that's good. I just need to, you know, be more alert.